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978-0-8018-5280-0 / 9780801852800

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About the book:

Appearing after the reunification of the two Germanys, DramaContemporary: Germany offers a politically charged view of German drama in the years immediately preceding and just after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The volume includes plays by the internationally renowned authors Heiner Müller, Botho Strauss, and George Tabori, as well as works by other German-language authors who deserve a wider audience, among them Georg Seidel of the former East Germany and Elfriede Jelinek of Austria.

The spectrum of subjects and styles represents the great number of new plays that have premiered in German theaters between 1985 and 1995. In the best German dramatic tradition, these plays range from poetic, highly imagistic work to realism and melodrama, and to virtuosic wordplay. They are often outspoken in criticism of contemporary reality and the German past.

Heiner Müller's "Mommsen's Block" was one of the first plays written after the historic changes in Germany to take as its theme the political and economic consequences of unification. "The Beautiful Stranger," by Klaus Pohl, offers an uncompromising view of the aggressive violence and brutality directed at foreigners in Germany. George Tabori, in "Mein Kampf," situates the young Hitler in a Vienna flophouse. Elfriede Jelinek's "Totenauberg" is a satirical treatment of Martin Heidegger's crypto-fascist theories and the relationship between Hannah Arendt and the philosopher which is now the subject of an international controversy.

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